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Being a Marine Biologist for a day - Full day tour

Description

Prepare yourself for a full day of intense research and learning about the giant cetaceans of São Miguel Island. If you are interested in an investigation about marine life and you are curious about the everyday life of our biologists, then this exciting experience is absolutely for you!

In the past years, there have been identified more than 3,000 sperm whales and more than 500 blue whales in the Azores. If you love the marine wildlife and would like to do some whale and dolphin watching in São Miguel to discover more about the environment and social behavior of the baleen whales and sperm whales, this is the perfect tour for you! Meet us in our shop at Ponta Delgada harbor at 8 am and here starts our adventure! You will spend around 7 hours on the water aboard one of our zodiac boats with some of our experienced marine biologists. On the program, you will be able to register some of the species you will see during the boat trip, for instance with the photo-identification technique. You will help to collect microplastics with a plankton network, which will allow us to filter a certain volume of water and then quantify the microplastics present in it.

Along with our biologists, you will be able to observe the content on board to get an idea of the plankton and microplastics present in the ocean. After observation, the content will be filtered again by a larger mesh to retain only visible particles (superior to 1mm). We will also record acoustic data thanks to our directional hydrophone which will allow us to hear and record sounds emitted by cetaceans audible to the human ear. Another fascinating activity you will have the opportunity to do is to collect biological samples as we often observe cetacean skin and stool during our trips. When possible, these samples will be collected and kept for further analysis.

All the data collected will be then incorporated into the database. We will as well analyze the photos collected by selecting the ones with sufficient quality for photo identification and processing them for further analysis and comparison with our catalogs. The filtered samples and classification of the present waste will be observed, we will quantify the microplastics by the amount of filtered volume and calculate the visible litter density per area samples thanks to mapping.

To end this tour with even more interesting activities, our biologists will explain the acoustic records of the day and try to establish a connection between the records and the behavioral data collected. During this tour, you will learn so much about the cetaceans of the Azores! You will live a full day with our biologist's team. This is a must-do for whale and dolphin lovers, or people interested in biology in general. On our blog Azores Whales you can check all our investigation work!

The price for this activity is 114€ per adult (from 13 years old) and 57€ per child (8-12 years old). Please note that this tour is available for children above 8 years old for safety reasons. Please contact us if your child is under 8 years old and is really interested in this tour.

Please note that this tour is operated mostly during Springtime because it is the best season to spot many species. However, if you are traveling to the Azores during another time of the year, please contact us.

Duration
Duration
8h
Difficulty
Difficulty
Easy

Location

Ponta Delgada


Recommendations

Restrictions may apply for pregnant women and people with lower back problems. However, Futurismo offers different types of boats of different levels of comfort.  Please contact us for more details.

Bring comfortable clothes and shoes, sweater, windbreaker jacket, hat, sunscreen, water.

Meals

Picnic lunch on the boat. Our picnic lunch generally includes a sandwich, a fruit, a cake, water, and juice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best season for whale watching in the Azores? What species can I see during this tour?
A: There are four resident species here in the Azores: sperm whales, Risso’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and common dolphins, which means that they are present all year round. The best season for whale and dolphin watching in the Azores is Springtime - from March to June. During this time of the year, baleen whales are migrating and passing by our waters. It is possible to see blue whales, fin whales and sei whales among other species. The summertime is also ideal to spot pilot whales, beaked whales or spotted dolphins for instance. Visit our website if you want to know more about cetacean species in the Azores.

Q: I have lower back problems, can I go on this tour?
A: This tour is operated on a zodiac boat, which is more bouncy and splashy than our catamarans. Please contact your physician before joining a tour on a zodiac.

Q: I am pregnant but I would like to do whale watching. Is it possible?
A: This tour will be operated on a zodiac boat. It is not recommended for pregnant women as it is a lot more bouncy and splashy than our regular whale watching tours aboard the catamarans.

Q: Can I join the tour if I am seasick?
A: If you know that you are seasick, you can take medication before the trip. If you realize you are being seasick once on the boat, look at the horizon and get fresh air. If you feel bad, the staff on the boat will be here to help you.

Q: My child wants to go on this tour, can he/she join?
A: For safety reasons, while on the zodiac’s seats, children must be able to touch the ground with their feet to be able to come on the tour.

Q: Does Futurismo provide special equipment if it is raining during the boat trip?
A: Yes, we do provide rain jackets and waterproof trousers for the boat trip in case of bad weather.

Q: What if I don’t see any cetacean (either dolphins nor whales) during the tour?
A: Nature offers no guarantee. In that case, you will be able to book another tour free of charge to try your luck again.



114

Price per adult

57

Price per child

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This program includes
  • – Pre-tour briefing
  • – Boat trip on the south coast of São Miguel island
  • – Biologists on board
  • – Picnic lunch (sandwich, cake, fruit, water, juice)
  • – Life jacket
  • – Raincoat and pants if necessary
  • – Refreshment after the trip
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